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App Development
7 minutes read

Top Cloud Security Risks to Consider 

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
7 minutes read

Cloud computing has become the norm for many organizations due to its convenience and scalability. However, while cloud storage is a vital tool for the success of modern businesses, there are still cloud computing security risks that your organization should be aware of. 

When relying on cloud services, assessing security threats and prioritizing data security is critical. No cloud computing solution is free from security risks. Many organizations are lulled into a false sense of security when using cloud storage, but there are still security risks to address.

This post will examine the most common security risks of cloud computing so your organization can prepare and implement data security measures to protect sensitive data. 

Cloud Computing Security Risks 

Every cloud service provider should be honest about the security risks associated with using cloud infrastructure for storing business-critical data. In addition, cloud service providers should be able to provide the security controls they have in place to combat common cloud security threats. 

Let’s examine the most common and significant cloud security risks so that your business can be prepared. 

  • Data breaches 
  • Data loss 
  • Poor access management 
  • Large attack surface
  • API security 
  • Human error 
  • Misconfiguration 
  • Lack of internal knowledge

Data Breaches 

Cybercriminals are primarily focused on one thing: data. As a result, data breaches are the biggest cloud security threats. Cloud environments present an attractive target for attackers since so much data is stored there. 

If your business stores sensitive data in the cloud, you must take this cloud security risk seriously. The impact of a data breach can be significant depending on the type of sensitive data lost. 

For example, losing customer data in a data breach can do massive reputational damage to your brand. In addition, the loss of sensitive data in a data breach can lead to fines and other regulatory penalties, especially if compliance standards are not followed. 

Cloud-based data is not immune to breaches. Your organization must work closely with its cloud providers to ensure that no unauthorized users gain access to confidential data. 

Data Loss 

Data loss is similar to data breaches, but it is different. Data loss can occur due to a breach but also due to natural disasters, system malfunctions, etc. Data loss is still a significant cloud security threat, even if data is not lost due to brute force attacks or denial of service attacks. 

To protect the organization’s data, you must closely consider the backup strategy of every cloud provider you intend to use for cloud computing services. In addition, your organization should employ its own data protection strategy and back up critical data. 

Data loss is one of the prominent cloud security concerns organizations should have. Data losses are similar to breaches, but they encompass more than service attacks from cyber criminals. 

Accidental data deletion and other data loss incidents are often overlooked as cloud security issues. However, any loss of data can pose a significant threat to your business. 

Poor Access Management 

Access management deals with the internal permissions required for direct access to data. The lack of straightforward and enforced access controls threatens an organization’s cloud security.  

Too many organizations fail to consider which employees have access to data. In most organizations, especially large enterprises, most employees do not need full access to all collected and stored data. 

It is your organization’s responsibility to determine who can access sensitive data. Employees should only have access to the data required to do their jobs. Strong cloud security starts internally with the access and security controls your business puts in place. 

Large Attack Surface

Attack surface is a term used to refer to the total exposure of your organization. The cloud is convenient and benefits organizations in several ways, but it presents a large attack surface for cybercriminals.

An organization’s attack surface grows larger when cloud computing is paired with IoT devices and microservices. While these devices and infrastructure are essential to everyday operations, organizations must know the potential attack surface. 

Businesses can minimize the risk posed by the large attack surface of the cloud with tight security controls and policies. As you might expect, there are a lot of ways to go about this to get the desired results. For instance, securing cloud infrastructure by performing a cloud security assessment not only allows you to bolster the extent to which you are protected from potential threats but also find any undetected vulnerabilities before they are exploited in the first place. Without close management, your business could be attacked in unforeseen ways.

API Security 

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are vital to cloud security and enable businesses to quickly add features like encryption. However, API configurations and cloud protocols can be exploited if not configured correctly

In addition, if an API is developed poorly, there may be flaws in the API that attackers can exploit. Before using any API, it is vital to understand how it will fit into your current cloud security environment and thoroughly read through the documentation. 

Human Error 

The majority of cloud security issues are caused by simple human error. Eliminating human error entirely is not possible. However, you can empower employees to reduce errors through clear security policies and regular training. 

In addition to human error, many cloud security breaches are caused by malicious insider action. This is why access controls are so important. Disgruntled employees can do a lot of damage to an organization if they have complete access to data.


Misconfiguration can lead to security holes as organizations add more services and utilize multiple cloud providers. There are a wealth of cloud computing resources and services available to organizations. 

As more tools and cloud environments are added to an organization’s IT infrastructure, it is easier for misconfigurations to occur that create exploitable opportunities for cyber attackers. 

Organizations can combat this cloud security risk by carefully adding new services and configuring them properly. 

Lack of Internal Knowledge 

One of the greatest threats to cloud security from an organizational perspective is a lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, many organizations implement new cloud services and tools without the proper knowledge of configuration and security. 

Your organization can hire more internal IT talent and security professionals to ensure it has the knowledge to safely implement cloud tools. In addition, a popular option for many organizations is partnering with a cloud consulting company or IT partner. 

If your organization lacks the internal knowledge required to safely implement and use a technology, it is wise to try and fill this skill gap before proceeding. Failing to do so could expose your organization and its data to malicious attacks. 

Final Thoughts 

Cloud security should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, too many businesses fail to fully realize the security threats that exist in the cloud. As we have said, no cloud solution is perfect or immune to cyber attacks. 

If you want to learn more about cloud security, contact an experienced cloud consulting partner like Koombea to help guide your business through every step of the journey.

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